The UCLA men’s basketball team was dealt its first on-court obstacle this week with an early-season tournament loss to Big East contender Georgetown.
While the Bruins ultimately battled back the following day and won a third-place game over Georgia, they nearly tallied their second straight loss with the lackluster and disorganized play they exhibited throughout Tuesday’s victory.
There are many positive aspects of UCLA’s team play that are coming together nicely as the team continues to gel, such as their team chemistry and ball movement; however, there are also many lacking elements—upholding intensity and making quick decisions—that the Bruins must amend before Pac-12 conference play begins in January.
Never mind the highly touted recruiting class and the high ranking in the Top 25—if this team isn’t able to effectively enact the necessary improvements, it will be another disappointing season for UCLA’s storied college basketball program.
It was only a year ago that the Bruins were ranked No. 17 in the preseason AP poll, finished 19-14 overall and 11-7 in a very average Pac-12 and missed the NCAA Tournament.
This year’s team is undoubtedly more talented, but it is destined for the same inadequacy of last year’s team if these crucial improvements aren’t made.